The Best Player Who Could Still Be Cut from Every NFL Roster In 2024 Offseason
David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2024

The Best Player Who Could Still Be Cut from Every NFL Roster In 2024 Offseason

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    Robert Woods

    Robert WoodsCooper Neill/Getty Images

    Since the bulk of free agency is over and the 2024 NFL draft has concluded, rosters around the league will now only get smaller.

    To start, don’t expect a marquee move anytime soon. Teams are allowed to carry 90 players in the summer, so there’s not a rush to release someone who’s not already on the fringe of the roster. Some of that back-end finagling will happen in May and June.

    But notable cuts are destined to happen.

    Some players who started or held an impactful rotation spot in recent years will be looking for a new team in 2024.

    The choices are subjective but based on recent performance and changes to a team’s depth chart, especially due to recent additions in free agency or the draft.

AFC East

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    Bailey Zappe

    Bailey ZappePhoto By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

    Buffalo Bills: Damar Hamlin, S

    Leading up to his terrifying on-field cardiac event in 2022, Damar Hamlin had become a starting safety and amassed 91 tackles. Last season, incredibly, he returned and appeared in five games. However, the Bills have since reshaped the position; they signed Taylor Rapp and Mike Edwards before drafting Cole Bishop.

    Miami Dolphins: Jeff Wilson Jr., RB

    Miami leaned on Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane last year, which limited Jeff Wilson Jr. to 41 carries. Plus, the Dolphins just drafted speedy Tennessee back Jaylen Wright. The offseason probably marks the end of Wilson’s time in South Florida.

    New England Patriots: Bailey Zappe, QB

    Bailey Zappe started two games for New England as a rookie in 2022 and six more in 2023. Now that the Patriots have pivoted to third overall pick Drake Maye with capable veteran Jacoby Brissett as his backup, Zappe is unlikely to stick on the roster.

    New York Jets: Allen Lazard, WR

    Between the influence Aaron Rodgers wields and negligible financial savings, I would not consider Allen Lazard a likely cut. Besides, maybe a healthy season from Rodgers will spark his former Green Bay Packers teammate. Lazard, nevertheless, had a ghastly 23 catches last year and might only be the Jets’ fourth receiver in 2024.

AFC North

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    Cole Holcomb

    Cole HolcombJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    Baltimore Ravens: Tylan Wallace, WR

    Following a standout career as a wideout at Oklahoma State, Tylan Wallace has never been an important offensive piece with Baltimore. He’s occupied a valuable role on special teams in all three seasons, so the Ravens still can utilize him. But if they’re comfortable with Deonte Harty and rookie Tez Walker, Wallace’s time in Baltimore may end.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Trent Brown, OT

    Given the offensive line’s recent struggles in front of Joe Burrow, the Bengals figure to keep as much depth as possible up front. Nevertheless, they picked Amarius Mims in the first round and could prioritize younger backups if Mims beats out Brown at right tackle.

    Cleveland Browns: David Bell, WR

    David Bell has totaled 900 snaps on offense and special teams during his two professional seasons. However, he may be squeezed out of the position after Cleveland traded for Jerry Jeudy and drafted Jamari Thrash. It seems unlikely Bell and Cedric Tillman will remain on the roster.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Cole Holcomb, LB

    The most unfortunate part of Cole Holcomb’s season-ending knee injury is that it might lead to his release. This offseason, the Steelers signed high-priced Patrick Queen and added Payton Wilson in the draft. Pittsburgh may simply move in a new direction away from Holcomb, who posted 54 tackles in eight appearances last season.

AFC South

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    Robert Woods

    Robert WoodsCooper Neill/Getty Images

    Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR

    Veteran safety Jimmie Ward is worth monitoring, but he’d be a valuable mentor for rookie Calen Bullock. On the other hand, the Texans have too many receivers. Stefon Diggs, Nico Collins and Tank Dell are roster locks with Noah Brown and John Metchie III close behind. Houston, which just traded for Ben Skowronek, can save nearly $5 million by cutting Woods.

    Indianapolis Colts: Mo Alie-Cox, TE

    Mo Alie-Cox is guaranteed zero dollars of his $5.92 million salary. Right now, he’ll likely be the Colts’ fourth-string tight end in 2024. Tough to see Indianapolis keeping him at that price.

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Riley Patterson, K

    After kicking for the Jaguars in 2022, Riley Patterson spent last season with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. He returned to Jacksonville as a free agent this offseason—before the team drafted Cam Little. Using a pick on a kicker does not guarantee he’ll make the roster, but it’s usually a strong indication.

    Tennessee Titans: Tre Avery, CB

    Over the last two seasons, Tre Avery has collected 62 tackles with five starts in 29 games. Tennessee needed to upgrade the unit, however, and added both L’Jarius Sneed and Chidobe Awuzie. Roger McCreary is the third starter, while releasing Caleb Farley saves no money and keeping Eric Garror and rookie Jarvis Brownlee Jr. is sensible. Avery should catch on somewhere if the Titans move on.

AFC West

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    Kadarius Toney

    Kadarius ToneyPerry Knotts/Getty Images

    Denver Broncos: Tim Patrick, WR

    Officially, we’ve not seen Tim Patrick on the field during the last two years because of knee and Achilles injuries. He was a 700-yard receiver in both 2022 and 2023, so Denver may be optimistic about a return to form. Or, the Broncos could turn to younger players—Brandon Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey, among them—over Patrick.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Kadarius Toney, WR

    The idea of Kadarius Toney has been far more exciting than his performance in three NFL seasons. Worse yet, a mistake-plagued season with the Chiefs included just 200 yards on 38 touches for Toney. He’s an expendable piece in Kansas City.

    Las Vegas Raiders: Harrison Bryant, TE

    Harrison Bryant signed with the Raiders earlier this offseason, which in a vacuum makes this a head-scratching move. Didn’t expect Las Vegas to draft Brock Bowers after landing Michael Mayer last year, though! Bryant is a more proven tight end than Zach Gentry but might not really be in the Raiders’ plans anymore.

    Los Angeles Chargers: Chris Rumph, Edge

    At this point, Jim Harbaugh has probably turned over the roster to his liking. Chris Rumph may snatch a final spot, but the recent signing of Bud Dupree is not good news for him. Rumph is behind Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Tuli Tuipulotu and Dupree at the position.

NFC East

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    James Bradberry

    James BradberryMitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Dallas Cowboys: Chauncey Golston, DL

    The turnover on the defensive line, in theory, is a good thing for Chauncey Golston. Dallas moved on from Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore, vacating plenty of snaps up front. But the Cowboys will undoubtedly give rookies Justin Rogers and Denzel Daxon a long look.

    New York Giants: Darren Waller, TE

    Darren Waller has been transparent about considering retirement this offseason, so it’s no coincidence the Giants drafted Theo Johnson in the fourth round. New York presumably will keep Waller if he decides to play, but the team would save $6.7 million if he’s released.

    Philadelphia Eagles: James Bradberry, CB

    Look, he had a miserable 2023 season. It’s no coincidence the Eagles drafted both Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean. James Bradberry was a standout in 2022, though, so Philly may hope he can reclaim that relatively recent form. Still, the Eagles can designate him as a post-June 1 cut and avoid an additional $10.8 million in dead money this season.

    Washington Commanders: Dyami Brown, WR

    Similar to a few others, Washington is pretty thin on recognizable players who even can be entertained here. The roster needs all the talent it can get. Dyami Brown has played a minor role on offense in his three seasons with the franchise and mostly contributed on special teams in 2023.

NFC North

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    Nick Mullens

    Nick MullensStephen Maturen/Getty Images

    Chicago Bears: Dominique Robinson, Edge

    After playing 50 percent of snaps as a rookie, Dominique Robinson’s share dipped to 35 percent last year. Meanwhile, the Bears traded for Montez Sweat and jumped up to land Austin Booker in the draft. Robinson will be fighting for a final spot in the edge-rushing rotation.

    Detroit Lions: Levi Onwuzurike, DT

    Injuries, unfortunately, have plagued Levi Onwuzurike’s recent seasons. He notched 35 tackles as a rookie in 2021 but has appeared in only 10 games since then. Detroit may have drafted a replacement with sixth-rounder Mekhi Wingo, and releasing Onwuzurike would trim $1.7 million from the books.

    Green Bay Packers: Anders Carlson, K

    Anders Carlson struggled down the stretch in 2023, missing a kick during nine of Green Bay’s last 12 games. Most concerning, he misfired on six extra points in that stretch. This offseason, the Packers brought in Greg Joseph and Jack Podlesny to compete with Carlson.

    Minnesota Vikings: Nick Mullens, QB

    If possible, the Vikings would probably like to keep Nick Mullens around for his knowledge. The problem is Minnesota signed Sam Darnold in free agency, drafted J.J. McCarthy and still has Jaren Hall—who realistically might not be safe as a hopeful stash on the practice squad. This is very much a Mullens vs. Hall discussion.

NFC South

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    Terrace Marshall Jr.

    Terrace Marshall Jr.Ryan Kang/Getty Images

    Atlanta Falcons: Taylor Heinicke, QB

    Since he already agreed to a restructured contract, Taylor Heinicke has a logical path to another year in Atlanta. He may legitimately be content as a handsomely paid reserve, too. Still, the Falcons signed Kirk Cousins and semi-controversially drafted Michael Penix Jr. in the first round. Heinicke is neither a stopgap starter nor the perceived backup.

    Carolina Panthers: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR

    The quick answer is running back Miles Sanders, given that Chuba Hubbard earned the starting job in 2023 and Carolina used a second-round pick on Jonathan Brooks. Sanders’ contract is expensive this season ($7.4 million in dead money even with a post-June 1 cut), however, so Terrace Marshall Jr. is more expendable. He tallied 490 yards in 2022 but dropped to 139 last season.

    New Orleans Saints: D’Marco Jackson, LB

    On the bright side, the Saints are stacked with experience at linebacker. Demario Davis and Pete Werner combined for 214 tackles last year, and Nephi Sewell showed promise, too. New Orleans also signed Willie Gay Jr., Khaleke Hudson and Monty Rice this offseason before drafting Jaylan Ford. All of those additions may have squeezed out D’Marco Jackson.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ko Kieft, TE

    There aren’t a bunch of well-known options here, either. Ko Kieft has rarely contributed as a pass-catcher, but he’s been a core special teamer in Tampa during the last two seasons. Cade Otton will start, and the Bucs might keep Payne Durham and rookie Devin Culp.

NFC West

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    Larrell Murchison

    Larrell MurchisonRyan Kang/Getty Images

    Arizona Cardinals: Zach Pascal, WR

    Similar to a few others, the Cardinals just don’t have the luxury of cutting much recognizable talent. That leaves us with Zach Pascal, a worthwhile dart throw in 2023 who logged 202 snaps at receiver but only caught four passes. He added 202 more plays on special teams.

    Los Angeles Rams: Larrell Murchison, DT

    As the franchise begins the post-Aaron Donald era defensively, Larrell Murchison may find himself on the wrong side of the bubble. Los Angeles used a second-round pick on Braden Fiske to play behind Kobie Turner and Bobby Brown III, also adding Tyler Davis in the sixth round. Murchison, who tallied 252 snaps last season, could be battling Cory Burden and Desjuan Johnson for one spot.

    San Francisco 49ers: Elijah Mitchell, RB

    Elijah Mitchell soared into the NFL with 1,100 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns as a rookie. Injuries limited him to five games in 2022, though, and he again held a backup role in 2023. San Francisco could cut Mitchell, moving ahead with some combination of Jordan Mason, Patrick Taylor Jr. and rookies Isaac Guerendo and Cody Schrader.

    Seattle Seahawks: Dee Eskridge, WR

    Honesty is appreciated. General manager John Schneider basically said the team kept Dee Eskridge only because of the coaching change. The second-round pick in 2021 has turned 373 career snaps into just 17 catches and 122 yards. He’s no higher than the fifth receiver right now.

    Salary-cap information via Over the Cap unless otherwise noted.

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